Contagious Virus Hits Elementary School

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ASHMORE - A school closed Wednesday after half of its students were sent home sick.

Charleston CUSD #1 Superintendent of Schools Jim Littleford decided to evacute Ashmore Elementary after 51 students and 5 teachers reported intestinal problems.

The Coles County Public Health department believes it is the highly contagious Norovirus, a fecal-oral route illness.

Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fever. Director of Nursing Cathie Reynolds says the virus normally runs its course within 1-3 days. Those infected should stay hydrated and are advised to return to school after 24 hours without symptoms.

On Wednesday Littleford said the school planned to reopen by Thursday. The facility was thoroughly cleaned after students left.

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